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December, 2009

Dear Diary 2009


January 5, 2009

We had our New Year’s Day Open House on the 1st and it’s become a tradition. I always hire a blackjack dealer so we can all play with pretend money. Too bad it wasn’t real because Robert, who developed this website, was up thousands of dollars. Then I planned a game called Kiss-Kiss where I hid Hershey’s Kisses all over the house and people had to find them. Whoever found them all got a small prize but the problem was that people found them, and ate them. I’ll have to re-think that – maybe I’ll hide Brussel Sprouts next time. Then over the weekend I went shopping. I swore I would never buy a Christmas item ever again but they were 70% off! I bought another artificial lighted tree, a Christmas runner, and just a few ornaments. What was I supposed to do? They were practically giving them away.

January 6, 2009

Whenever I type the word "Obama" and use spellcheck, it tries to correct the word. Apparently, "Obama" does not exist in the vast dictionary in the airwaves. Maybe no one noticed that he won the election.

January 8, 2009

We had another earthquake. It was around 8 pm and I was (where else) at my computer and I could feel it starting. I was just about to get under my desk when it stopped. Then I waited for it to start back up but it didn’t. I think it was a 5.0 magnitude. Sometimes earthquakes are a rolling feeling and other times they’re like a back-and-forth shaking. This was a rolling one but it only seemed to last 10 seconds. Just enough for my heart start pounding. I always turn on the news to see what the magnitude was. To me, the higher the number the better because maybe the big one won’t be so bad. What am I saying? I can only hope I’m out of town for that one.

January 12, 2009

The Golden Globes were on last night and I guess I was crazy to try driving to the Century City Shopping Center this afternoon, which is right by the Beverly Hilton Hotel where they were taping the show. Traffic was jammed, with trucks everywhere and people camped out hoping to see the celebs. The show was fun to watch, though, and my favorite moment was seeing Mickey Rourke’s comeback. But what a handsome man he could (and should) have been today.

January 13, 2009

It’s 80 degrees!!!

January 15, 2009

It’s 80 degrees again! I feel so guilty living here when the east coast & mid west are being pummeled with snow. But I have paid my dues, growing up in Canada. I remember when we couldn’t open the front door because it was being held shut by three feet of snow. I did a photo shoot yesterday with my favorite photographer, Charles Bush (also from Canada). I can’t say I enjoy the process of sitting through makeup and hair but Jan Ping did both my makeup and hair and I loved the look. I really like the new pictures, but Charles should get all the credit – I just showed up. Soon l will put some new photos on the website, swapping out some bad hair days for good ones. Five days until Obama!!!

January 19, 2009

How can anyone concentrate with the inauguration coming tomorrow? It’s just so exciting! My assistant, Damon, and I are taking the morning off to watch history happen on TV. I’ve tried to imagine how Michelle Obama must feel and could she ever have imagined as a child that she might one day be our first lady. Even I never thought this day would ever come. From slavery to the presidency! It’s just fantastic!

January 20, 2009

OH HAPPY DAY!!! President Barack Obama! I cried from emotion seeing the millions of people on the mall in Washington who came there to be a part of our history. I cried from joy watching the helicopter take George Bush away. I wish I could bake some cookies and send them to the White House as a way to say, "Welcome, Mr. President. We are all so glad you’re here!"

January 22, 2009

Another earthquake. It was the shortest one I can remember, just one jolt and then nothing. I’m hoping that was all. The news always reports it and this was a 3.1. It felt more like a truck ran into the house. It made me anxious so I baked some Chocolate-Almond Biscotti.
CONGRATULATIONS to Robert Avedissian on the birth of his first child this afternoon. Robert is my website developer/designer and Ruby Grace was born today to Robert and his wife Heather.

January 24, 2009

Denis and I went to Beverly Hills today to look for a special birthday gift for someone. I always wear my diamond ring when I go to Beverly Hills so I fit in better. We looked in the froufrou stores but the perfect gift was at Crate & Barrel there for $19.95. I added my Chocolate Pudding recipe to the recipe page. It’s too good not to share. Is it just me or do people seem generally happier now that Barack is in office? The economy has tanked, businesses are closing, homes foreclosed, jobs lost, but the troops are here! Finally, there is hope.

January 27, 2009

There’s a new mystery photo on my photography page, and a couple of new photos of me from my recent shoot also on the site. They were retouched but not too much. Denis thinks he saw Dr. Phil pulled over and getting a ticket this morning in Hollywood. The last celebrity I saw was Britney at Starbucks. I need to get out more.

January 29, 2009

Today was my business manager’s 50th birthday so I went to his office to be part of a surprise party. The entire staff of around 25 people were clanging and banging noisemakers and drums when he walked in. He was wearing a nice tie and sports jacket with a Jack-in-the-Box head, you know the huge white ball with a pointy hat? Now that was funny! We sang Happy Birthday and they asked me to sing a special version of Billy Joel’s "I love you just the way you are." It’s rare to see someone so truly loved by his staff (and by me). Then I went to get a smog check on my car. It was a tiny garage and the only waiting chair was about three feet away from my back tires which were spinning at around 50 miles per hour. But it was quick and my car passed. For dinner I made salad, salmon patties, spaghetti with greens and jello made with Acai berry juice for dessert, which has tons of antioxidants. It’s just the juice and unflavored gelatin if anybody wants to try it. I can’t wait to see who this woman is with the eight babies. No husband. Fourteen kids. Guess who’s going to pay…..

February 2, 2009

I’m not even a football fan but I watched the Super Bowl because I wanted the underdog to win, and they almost did. And Jennifer Hudson? Could anyone have sung the national anthem better? I doubt it – she was awesome! Went walking in Balboa park on Saturday and took pictures of ducks. One was chasing another one and then stood up in the water as if to say, "Back off that duck, Dude. She’s mine!" Here he is.

February 5, 2009

It’s pouring rain! Outside and in. There’s a leak in the kitchen coming from a beam, actually about 5 leaks from the beam, and another one in the living room. The roofer has ignored my calls so I’ve called a leak expert. But he won’t come until it stops raining. I don’t get that. So when he gets here and asks where the leak was, I’ll say, "You should have been here when it was raining." It’s a good night to stay home and bake cookies… my Kitchen Sink Cookies. They are really good – and the recipe is on this site.

February 9, 2009

Still raining. I watched the Grammys last night and loved Stevie Wonder with the Jonas Brothers, who it turns out, actually have talent. I thought they were just pretty boys but to me, that was the best thing in the show. Or it might have been the Four Tops tribute with Smokey and Jamie Foxx…. or wait, I loved Robin Thick and Lil Wayne. Is it just me or is something still wrong with Whitney Houston? Watching Smokey Robinson brought back memories of when I opened for him in Atlantic City. I loved hearing him sing live every show but he never got there on time. Every show I would get a cue from the curtain to stretch because Smokey wasn’t there yet. One night I got so many cues, I ran out of material and had to finish. Then the band just vamped until he got there. But when he sang…well nobody sounds like Smokey.

February 10, 2009

I spent the day shooting some new "How-To" videos for this website. My assistant Damon worked the camera and lights and it was really fun. They’ll be posted soon. I was a little tired because I stayed up late last night watching yet another police chase unfold on our streets. This time it was a white Bentley so I had to see who it was and what happened. The internet was buzzing that it was Chris Brown but it turned out to be a business man who eventually shot himself in the car. It was hard to sleep after that.

February 12, 2009

The whole day was spent working on Jenny’s Heroes so I have no news. So in lieu of news, here’s what I cooked (and ate) today… Breakfast: whole grain toast with a hard-boiled egg, fresh papaya & green tea. Lunch: 1/2 a quesedilla and one of my homemade biscotti with milk, then white tea. Dinner: salad, beef stew with potatoes, carrots, celery & broccoli & vanilla pudding for dessert. Everything was homemade from scratch, healthy and delicious. Oh, one more thing – gophers are taking over my back yard.

February 13, 2009

Tonight was spent at a birthday celebration for Denis’s niece at Benihana. It’s always fun to go there but don’t be fooled that it’s healthy food. It almost is, until they toss a giant wad of butter on… oh, let’s see… everything! On the zucchini & onions, on the fried rice, on my chicken & steak. So the only way to go there is with a big enough group for your own table, and ask for much smaller wads of that yellow stuff.

February 14, 2009

This was big day for my housekeeper, who is buying her first home. I went to the inspection today and it passed with no major problems. I got a beautiful heart-shaped box of chocolates from Denis for Valentine’s Day. I baked him cinnamon rolls for breakfast – that was my gift. There are some new How-To videos posted in the Videos section.

February 16, 2009

Denis and I went to the zoo yesterday and of course, I took my camera. I’ll post a few new animal photos this week. It’s pouring rain again and I’ve got buckets on the floor for all the leaks. But I do have a leak-fixer guy coming next week.

February 19, 2009

My housekeeper is buying a house and I’ve been helping her with paperwork and it’s been consuming both of us all week. Neither one of us has been grocery shopping, so I have no eggs, milk, or lettuce. Yes, as long as I have eggs, milk, and lettuce, I can have breakfast, make salads, and get some of my frozen leftovers out for dinner. But good news, the sun is out! No more rain. Oops, the realtor is on the phone… gotta go.

February 21, 2009

The Academy Awards are always news, but they are huge news when you live in L.A. They’ve been covering the preparations all week on the news and this afternoon I drove down Beverly Glen Boulevard and saw at least 30 valet parking guys, maybe more, and about a mile of cones along this canyon road. This had to be an Oscar party. And in case anyone wants to book a limo for a wedding or a night out this weekend, forget it. They’re all booked. Hollywood Boulevard has been closed all week and I’m waiting for tonight’s breaking news to tell us if it’s going to rain on the red carpet. I love it! I can’t wait for the show. I’m getting my snacks ready: pop corn for sure, grapes, and maybe some chocolate.

February 24, 2009

I thought the Oscars telecast was really good and it’s always great to see the little guy (Slum Dog Millionaire) win. Too bad Mickey Rourke didn’t win, though – I was looking forward to his acceptance speech. But he’s back anyway. I have no news. I did my nails today while at my desk. Tomorrow I’m going to a new gynecologist – a man this time. Maybe he’ll notice my nice manicure and not stare elsewhere too long.

February 28, 2009

A good part of the week was spent helping my housekeeper (Antonia) of 6 years buy a house. When she gets her keys in 9 days, she will be the second woman in her family to own her own home. I am so proud of what she has accomplished, having come from a meager existence in El Salvador. She has worked all her life and saved money and is now able to fulfil her American dream. I’ve been following the octuplet mom with a sort of fascination/disbelief/sadness/frustration/hopelessness. To me it really is a no-win situation. Truly, nobody can win here. Not the new babies, the current children, the grandmom, the grandfather, or the taxpayers. Even the in vitro doctor will lose, but that’s probably a good thing. We can all only wait and see what the health status will be of the 8 babies, but no one expects all eight to be free of health problems. I’ve had enough of seeing this mother’s gargantuan lips, but something tells me we will be seeing more of them flapping, for years to come, probably in a reality TV show. Too bad there are no do-overs in real life.

March 2, 2009

I had to reschedule my new gynecologist for tomorrow. I will report back. It just occurred to me that I will probably never wear panty hose again.

March 4, 2009

Thank God he wasn’t too good looking – the new gynecologist. Before my exam I realized that he does this all day. Seeing another vagina for him is like a mechanic looking at another transmission, isn’t it? Once I accepted that in my head, it wasn’t that different from the female doctor. He kept his speculum in the freezer too. We’re still in home-buyer hell with the housekeeper’s house which closes on Monday. It’s either problems with the loan or the seller isn’t fulfilling his obligations. Antonia and I will both be glad when this is all over and she gets her keys. I’m suggesting she take one of her vacation weeks to get moved in. I went to the mall last night. What is that smell at Restoration Hardware?

March 6, 2009

Yikes! There was a bobcat in my back yard! It was at dusk and Denis and I went outside to check on a gate and I saw this cat. "Oh, I wonder if a neighbor is looking for this cat," I said as I headed towards her to see if she was friendly. I thought she looked kind of big but I was going to help find her owner. "That’s a bobcat!" said Denis. "No," I said, "it’s just a big cat!" But then the shape was a little off, and as I got closer it was big and kind of square-looking. She just looked at me and I realized that Denis was right. I only panicked for a moment, then stopped walking. Just then, she turned and ran up the back hill into some bushes. I raced inside to get my camera but it was too dark and she was gone. Add that to my other list of visitors: coyotes, deer, raccoons, red-tailed hawks, turkey buzzards, pheasants, and rattlesnakes. And I live in Beverly Hills!

March 8, 2009

I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond in Studio City looking for a pillow and had an unexpected star sighting – Katherine Morris, the blond actor from Cold Case was there shopping. She is so tiny. I didn’t get my pillow. A hundred dollars for a goose down king? I’ll wait for my 20% off coupon that always comes in the mail. Even then, it’s still too much so I don’t know. There was a huge hawk in my tree today. Maybe he was looking for my bobcat…

March 11, 2009

Denis’s nephew and boyfriend came for dinner last night and I made meatloaf, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and sweet potato chocolate cake for dessert. I do make the best meat loaf ever – it’s in my cookbook. We had fun and played Sorry afterwards. And today, I decided to stake out the bobcat area so I’m going out at dusk with my camera and try to get a picture. I’ve decided to shift my anger at Octomom to Rihanna. I loved her music but can no longer be a fan when she is sending a horrible message to young girls everywhere by not filing charges and worse than that, getting back together. I have to believe that everyone around her is advising her otherwise. When you think of it, she has a lot in common with Nadya Suleman – it’s all about what she wants and not what’s best for the babies/impressionable young girls. And another thing: (am I ranting?) I keep remembering those French-manicured talons on Nadya when she touched the babies and assumed I paid for those too. Well it turns out they can be harmful around preemies since germs can get trapped underneath them and she’s been advised to have them removed. But what’s more important – the safety of the preemies or big nails to balance out those big lips? I expect the talons will triumph.

March 15, 2009

I never saw the bobcat again but I heard he was in my next door neighbor’s yard, right by the pool. In the afternoon! Denis and I went to Santa Monica today for some shopping and we were just 3 blocks from the ocean. It was exciting to see the water and I realized that we never just go to the beach. It’s only a 1/2 hour so now I’m planning a bike ride along the Venice bike path, as soon as it warms up. When I was growing up, we went to the beach all the time in the summer – it was actually Lake Erie but it was an ocean to me. We had peanut butter sandwiches and went swimming and got blistering sun burns. There was no SPF back in the 50’s – only TBO (turkey basting oil). So all we did was roast our skin until it was golden-brown, just like my Thanksgiving turkey. Now, if they made SPF 200, I would use it! As for my shopping, I bought a ladybug spatula at Williams Sonoma and candles on sale at Shabby Chic which is going out of business.

March 17, 2009

My housekeeper, Antonia, signed her escrow papers today. It’s an exciting day for her and tomorrow she gets her keys and will finally believe the house is hers. We’re going to celebrate with her favorite pizza.

March 18, 2009

Antonia got the keys to her new house today! I decorated her work area with balloons and banners. I’ve never seen her so excited.

March 19, 2009

While flipping channels today I saw a TV commercial for some product promoting free financing and they spelled it "FINACING." I couldn’t let it go so I called the toll-free number. "I’m just calling to let you know you have a huge typo in your commercial," I said, expecting them to say, "…and your point is…?" But she said, "I know, we’ve had tons of calls and we’ re trying to get it fixed." It did my heart good to know I wasn’t the only one driven crazy by the massive amount of typos I see on a daily basis. The misuse of the word "its" is the worst. I don’t see any problem with having a penalty system for typos when you’re in the profession of writing ads or TV chyrons. Fifty bucks a word. Not a problem. A reduced paycheck might be just enough incentive to get them to do their job. Here’s a test: The following sentence has six mistakes. Can you spot them? "How is a person supposed to pick their favorite song in this game when its not playing loud enough for every women to hear and theres not even enough time to play the game in."

March 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to my sister in Canada!

March 23, 2009

On Saturday night Denis and I went to a fund raiser in Van Nuys at a school where I donated money to buy musical instruments. It was fun to see all the shiny new horns and drums, and those kids put on a really good show. Sunday was pancakes for breakfast, shopping for a new fax machine, oh and I heard that the E! channel ran a True Hollywood Story about me.

March 25, 2009

So the painter guy came today because well… it’s time. By the way, if you ever decide to paint over knotty pine walls, the ONLY thing that will prevent the knots from eventually showing through is shellac. It’s the ONLY thing. But the last painters skipped that class in Painting 101. So now, there are knots in almost every room. And the outside of the house has lots of wood paneling so, long story short: it’s a 2-week job. Wednesday is Denis’s night out with the boys so I made pizza for myself. I got one of those pizza pans with the holes in it and it makes great pizza!

March 30, 2009

What a beautiful weekend in So-Cal. Eighty degrees on Saturday. So I decided to set aside a little area for an organic vegetable garden. My gardener said he’d prepare the area this week and I can start planting. Tomatoes for sure, and cucumbers, lettuce, peas, and carrots. Then around 7:00 p.m. I walked outside to check out my planned space and guess what I saw? I rabbit! I big fat giant rabbit! Wait a minute? Don’t they eat carrots? And lettuce? What does that mean for my garden? Rabbits eat vegetables. Maybe there won’t be anything to worry about because don’t bobcats eat rabbits? Sad, but it’s my own back yard circle of life… or is that circle of death? I know it’s sad but… dead rabbit = organic carrots. I don’t have a problem with that.

April 1, 2009

I went for a teeth cleaning yesterday and got a verbal gold star from the dentist. That’s probably because I floss every single day. I’m afraid not to. I’ve had gum disease (due to past ignorance) and now they say bacteria around your teeth can contribute to heart disease. It’s a 2-minute insurance policy. So now I expect to live a long life, and I won’t have to live on pudding.

April 5, 2009

A lot has happened in the past few days. My housekeeper moved into her new house! She slept there for the first time Friday night. After living in Chicago for 12 years, I have two of almost everything so between my extras and her family doing all the fix-up work, she hardly spent anything at all and was able to buy the one thing she needed – a new fridge. There’s more exciting news: I got a letter from AARP with as membership card. I needed that about as much as I needed the senior discount at El Pollo Loco (without being carded). We had the leak fixed in the roof (I think) but we won’t really know if it’s fixed until it rains again and that won’t be for eight months. I think Danny Gokey is the best singer on American Idol.

April 6, 2009

I received some shocking news today. Judi Hoffman, a fantastic psychic who was a frequent and wildly popular guest on my talk show, is gravely ill. She has throat cancer and the prognosis is not good. She was loved by the staff and whenever she was on the show, there was never enough time for all the people who wanted her insight. I’m so sad to hear this. There’s more information on Judi’s website (www.judihoffman.com).

April 8, 2009

Star Sighting: I was walking in Beverly Hills yesterday and Charlie Sheen drove by in a black Mercedes.

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter! Denis and I are watching a 4-hour mini series on the life of Jesus. Now I’m feeling a little guilty for not going to church today. Somehow, I feel like Mother Superior is frowning on me from afar. Where would I be today if I had followed my original dream? I wanted to be a nun.

April 15, 2009

I just posted a new letter in the advice column for Jes. If anyone disagrees with my advice, I’d love to hear from you and share other opinions there for Jes to read. Meantime, I will try to add letters more often but each letter takes me a long time as I think things through before giving my 2-cents worth. And there are never enough hours in the day for me. Is it just me or does American Idol seem like it’s 4 hours long? I have to pack a lunch. I hope it’s Danny Gokey or Matt Giraud.

April 18, 2009

So Denis and I were sitting outside having a cup of green tea this afternoon and another bobcat showed up on our back hill. It was 2:00 in the afternoon! What a shock! They’re supposed to be nocturnal and the last one I saw was in the evening. Now I’m a little nervous to walk around in the yard. I could call Animal Control but what can they do? What kind of bait would they use? I suppose a rabbit could eat my tomatoes and then the bobcat would eat the rabbit. I’m willing to sacrifice my tomato plants for a safe back yard. After all the excitement, we went to Best Buy for an audio cable and the nursery looking for mulch.

April 24, 2009

Denis and I are flying to Chicago today and I am so scared. I had a horrific flight a few months ago and swore I would never fly again. But it’s either 4 days by car or 4 hours by plane. So I’m going to have a couple of beers and I’ll be ready to board. We were supposed to go tomorrow but we’re trying to beat the storm by going tonight. Since I don’t drink, two beers should do it.

April 27, 2009

How was my flight, you ask? Well, I booked a private plane because the big ones terrify me. This way I can see the pilots and talk to them if I get scared. Denis and I were scheduled to leave out of Van Nuys Airport on Saturday but there was a storm coming in to Chicago and we could beat the storm by flying out Friday night. So we rescheduled for 7 p.m. Friday. At 5 p.m. they called to say our incoming plane was having a problem and they landed it at LAX to get fixed, but there was another plane at LAX they could fly up to Van Nuys (a 40-minute drive) and we could leave at 7:45. Now there was even more time for me to get nervous. No one said what the problem was. We drove to Van Nuys, parked the car, and boarded at 7:45. I started drinking beer to calm down. We had the nicest flight team, Ben and Dwight, who assured me everything would be fine and not to be nervous. The engines fired up but the computer wouldn’t work so they had to “re-boot” by shutting down the plane, wait, then re-start. The computer came on but now the right engine had a problem. So did I. I started on my 2nd beer and I don’t drink. We quickly learned that this plane was not going anywhere. Now my options were to leave the next day, during a severe storm, or the original plane at LAX was now fixed if we wanted to drive to LAX. I didn’t even care what they fixed, as long as I could beat the storm. Crazy glue the wing back on and let’s go!! We had a car and offered Ben, our pilot & Dwight, the co-pilot a ride. We unloaded our luggage, our catering, their luggage and catering, loaded up the car and headed for LAX. It was 9 p.m.. Ben said they have never driven with their passengers to another plane before, but it was the fastest way to get there. We finally took off close to 10 p.m. and still flew close to the storm – there was lightening outside the window. We arrived at 3 a.m. Chicago time. Late? Yes. But we beat the storm! The next morning, we had thunder, lightening, wind, and hail, so flying in that would have required a 6-pack.

May 1, 2009

I’m still in Chicago and it’s still raining. I’m finally selling a house I’ve kept here since my show ended, but it’s too far away from L.A. and too hard to maintain, so Denis and I have been packing boxes since we got here. We’re flying back on Tuesday and I’m already stressed about the flight. It’s hard to believe that at one time, I thought about becoming a stewardess. That’s what they were called before the new p.c. term, “flight attendants.” So my options at the time were: 1) a nun 2) a stewardess 3) a rock & roll drummer. Looks like I made the right choice.

May 7, 2009

It’s so good to be home. The flight back was bumpy and I really don’t ever want to fly again. I missed the earthquake last week but the fires in Santa Barbara are still out of control today. I guess no matter how much money you have, everything can be gone in minutes. Denis and I went to see the new Wolverine movie and a group of people brought in 3 young children, around 2 to 4 years old. They sat close to the screen and let the theater become a playground for the kids. They ran around the seats, played tag, yelling to each other, too young to realize the disturbance they were causing. This happened for the entire movie. No one said anything, no one complained to the management, no one asked them to leave. I’ve never seen anything like it. There were some moments of dialogue in the film that we couldn’t hear over the children, but their parents were oblivious. Once the lights came on, it turned out they were Hispanic and seemed like nice people. I guess they just didn’t know the rules. Tomorrow I’ll start catching up on a long string of emails.

May 10, 2009

It’s Mother’s Day and I wish I had some happy memories of my mother but I don’t. There was nothing I could do to make her happy. But speaking of mothers, I was treated this morning to a mother/daughter sighting in my back yard. Take a look.

May 14, 2009

Danny Gokey voted off?? How did that happen? He was my favorite! It’s just possible that his fans will now vote for that guy Kris-something and he could win American Idol. And that would be wrong. They just voted for his playing the guitar. I wonder if that’s how people felt when I won Star Search in 1985… ("She’s not that funny – they’re just voting for her mini-dress.") Oh well, Danny will have a career anyway and I’ll buy his songs. My friend of over 40 years, Terri, came by on Tuesday and we hung out, then went for Mexican food. Then last night, Denis and I went to Daily Grill for a hamburger. The burger was great but the sides were not, so when the manager came by and asked, "How is everything?" I said, "Do you really want to know?" He said he did so I said the grilled onions were burnt and the fried were cold (I wouldn’t eat them anyway) so he took the burger off the bill. I said that wasn’t necessary because the burger was very good but he insisted. As soon as he walked away, I took a bite and chipped my tooth. I never did find what I bit into (probably a good thing) but my dental bill and likely new crown will cost a little more than the burger.

May 15, 2009

I just got the best piece of equipment ever. It lets me make DVD copies of VHS tapes and I have boxes and boxes of video tapes. I’ve already thrown out two big bags of videos and replaced them with a small stack of DVDs. And I’m finding some great old footage from the 80s that I’ll be adding to the website soon.

May 17, 2009

We just had a 5.0 earthquake (again). I had just walked upstairs and didn’t feel it but Denis was downstairs and said it was pretty strong and lasted about 10 seconds. It was centered in the Hawthorne area so that’s quite a ways from here. We always turn on the news to see where it was centered. I hope that’s all there is. Last night, we went to see Ain’t Misbehavin’ at the Ahmanson Theater, all about the music of Fats Waller. One black guy stormed out during a song called "Fat & Greasy" saying her was offended and "Why do we have to go back to the 1940s?" I suppose it touched a sensitive nerve for him, but the rest of the audience enjoyed and understood the show.

May 19, 2009

Another earthquake – I don’t like that. It was a 4.0 and that’s as big as I ever want them to be. Painters are here this week redoing the crappy paint job previously done. I watched American Idol and I’m pretty sure Adam has to win. I felt bad for Kris having to follow Adam and sing the same song that Adam just nailed. That would be like me doing standup having to follow Robin Williams – what’s the point? I made mac & cheese for dinner, then went to the mall but I found it depressing because no one was there shopping, all the sales clerks were just standing around, and it made me sad for everyone hurting financially.

May 21, 2009

What a spectacular show they put on for the Idol finals. Loved Black Eyed Peas! Loved Carlos Santana! Loved Kiss! Loved Adam! The wrong guy won. He knows it and we know it.

May 24, 2009

I’m done with being a blonde. I’ve decided to go back to my own color (which I haven’t seen in decades) and maybe get a few highlights. I’m doing it on Tuesday. I’ll take a picture and post it. It’s a little scary since blonde has been part of my identity, but I’m ready for this… I think. Denis and I went to the butterfly pavillion here in L.A. so I could take pictures. It’s a small area but the butterflies fly all around you and even land on your shoulder or head. Here’s one of the photos.

May 25, 2009

It’s Memorial Day and this day always reminds me of my dad who served in the Polish army during the second world war. It was a beautiful day so I went to Sepulveda Dam with my camera and found this bird flying over the water. Later on I made my "fall-off-the-bone" bbq ribs for dinner.

May 28, 2009

Well, my hair is darker now and I’m still adjusting. But I think I like it. Denis hasn’t said a word, probably because he can’t think of anything good to say. What can I say – they all like blondes. I’ve added some new vintage videos to the site, including my big win on Star Search in 1986. Yesterday, my assistant, Damon, and I had lunch with our website developers, Robert & Danny. We went to El Torito Grill and had a great time. Tonight, I’m making homemade gnocchi for dinner. It takes some work but it’s so worth it.

June 1st, 2009

Yesterday, I went to see my housekeeper’s house that she just bought. It’s so cozy and she fixed it up really well. It was fun to see different things I’ve given her over the years, all being used in her decorating, like dolls, picture frames, even a cannister set I gave her 6 years ago. I’m so proud of her coming to this country from El Salvador with nothing and now she’s a homeowner. And I got some really good news this morning. My insurance company is reimbursing me the money I lost with the Madoff investment scheme (yes, me too). I didn’t realize I was covered for fraud so it came as a huge surprise today.

June 2nd, 2009

Remember when I chipped my tooth eating a hamburger at the Daily Grill? (May 14th) Well I went to the dentist today and he filled the missing part, telling me it’s a 50-50 shot that it will hold. Otherwise, I will need a crown, so I’ll try not to eat on that side too much, or don’t get any more burgers at the Daily Grill. When I was leaving the medical building in Santa Monica, there was a squirrel on the sidewalk just looking at me. So I stopped to talk to him and he came right up to me, even less afraid than a dog. I set down my purse to look for some walnuts I usually carry, and he climbed right up on my purse. So I pulled a walnut out and he ate it, right on my purse. People started gathering around because this little guy was fearless. I kept saying, I wish I had my camera," and then I remembered that my Blackberry has a camera. So I snapped this photo.

June 7, 2009

It’s my birthday so I deserve a special treat and I got one. I picked and ate the first organic apple off my apple tree. You can’t buy apples that crisp and delicious anywhere. Denis is taking me out to dinner tonight and two nights ago, we went to the Greek Theater to see Prairie Home Companion. The best part was their special guest, k.d. lang. I got to hear her sing live and it was pure magic. Her voice is so clear and pure and I can’t think of anyone in the world who sings with such passion. She was mesmerizing. Oh, and we also went to see Up at the movies and I got a senior discount! Sweet! It was at the Arclight Theater where tickets are normally 12 to 14 dollars. We went for 10 bucks each reserved seats! More popcorn money!

June 9, 2009

I’ve decided to do another cookbook. I have so many more recipes that I want to share and I know my first book encouraged people to eat healthier food. It’s very hard to eat healthy food when eating out every day, even if it’s fine dining. Those meals are often just as bad for you as fast food. I cook pretty much every day. Last night I made grilled pork loin, roasted green beans and potatoes with chocolate pudding for dessert. Tonight I’m making salad, pork fried rice and oatmeal cookies for dessert. Now I just need a year to put the book together, and a title.

June 12, 2009

I found boxes of my autobiography in storage so I’m offering them for free to anyone who sends me an addressed, stamped padded envelope. I put a link on the home page. The birds are going crazy in my back yard either building nests or having babies. One of the nests is inside a rose bush and I took the 3 babies’ photo as they napped. Here it is.

June 14, 2009

The Lakers did it! They won the NBA title! Kobe is unbelievable!

June 17, 2009

Something’s been eating my plumbago. It has pretty blue flowers and I just planted it. So I walked out the back door to see if it’s all gone and guess who I saw, defiantly sticking out her tongue at me with the telltale evidence right there on her chin? She’s back.

June 22, 2009

I’m very sad to report that psychic Judi Hoffman, a regular guest of my show and also a friend, has passed away. All of the staff was excited every time she was scheduled to appear. Her awesome energy was felt by everyone and I’m so sad that we lost her. She was one-of-a-kind and there will never be anyone like her again. Good bye, Judi.

June 24, 2009

Now that it’s officially summer, I switched from my winter handbag to my summer one today. That’s all I have – any more bags are too much trouble. I also take this opportunity to refresh my makeup bag, throwing away the old Ziploc One Quart Freezer bag and getting a new one out of the kitchen. Feel free to steal my idea. It’s see-thru and sturdy and lasts all season without tearing. I’ve already started on my next cookbook, compiling the recipes and trying out some new ones. My chocolate pudding is going in for sure.

June 25, 2009

First, Ed McMahon, he was Johnny’s sidekick
When I heard he died, I was sad and heartsick.
Then it was Farrah’s time to go
We knew it was coming but tears still flow.
But Michael – too young, too soon, so surreal
May loved ones find a way for broken hearts to heal.

June 30, 2009

It’s hot! I got out my summer pajamas….. hey, a moth just flew right into my face….. where was I? Oh yes, my summer pajamas. And I’m making lots of iced tea and eating lots of watermelon. That’s my favorite summer treat, especially the seedless ones. I can eat a whole one in two days. My plum tree is full of plums and my apple tree is loaded too. We got one of those long fruit-picker poles to get the upper fruit. And my tomatoes are turning red this week. Even though I’m not working, I never have enough time. I’m behind on my emails, trying to work on the new cookbook, and haven’t exercised yet this week. It’s too hot to walk. That’s not a good excuse, I know.

July 5, 2009

My former assistant at the talk show came to visit. Dana arrived this morning with her husband and daughter. Her marriage, and pregnancy, was the reason she left the show. I was at the hospital when her daughter was born and now she’s ten years old. We all went for Sunday brunch, then hung out by the pool, drank tea, and later on we drove to Beverly Hills and walked down Rodeo Drive. The weather was spectacular – an improvement for sure from Missouri. It was great to see Dana again. We talked about all the old staff members and what they’re doing today. I wish she lived closer, but they are staying for a week. And yesterday was the 4th and I forgot to go out for fireworks. Forgot! Denis and I were going to drive up to Mulholland but I started baking and he was watching a movie and the next thing you know, it’s 10 p.m. Oh well, we saw it on TV.

July 8, 2009

What a great time we’re having with Dana in L.A. this week. Yesterday, the family went to a taping of the Price is Right, got backstage at the Young and the Restless, met some of the stars, shopped at the Grove, and ate at Farmer’s Market. We also tried to see Michael Jackson’s star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame but we couldn’t get near it. Dana also took her daughter to a place called Dance Heads at Universal Studios where they create fun dance videos using your face. Dana’s 10-year-old daughter, Hannah, made a hilarious video to the song "Whoomp, There It Is" and I just had to share it here.

Click the image to see video

July 13, 2009

It’s Denis’s birthday today so we went out for Italian dinner and then back home for my homemade birthday cake. I made a double layer chocolate cake from scratch. lt contains no butter or eggs and is delicious! It’s definitely going in the next cookbook. Well, Dana is gone. They left on Saturday and the week went so quickly. While they were here, my tomatoes all turned red so we picked and ate lots of tomatoes. And the apples on my tree are all turning red. And the three baby birds in the nest that was built in our patio lamp all left the nest. The last one flew out yesterday.

July 16, 2009 (photos not for the squeamish)

The gardener was here today and called me to come outside. "Bring your camera!" he said, so I assumed there was another deer in the back yard. Not the case. He was holding a week-old rattlesnake that didn’t even have fangs yet. The gardener was playing with it on his rake but the snake was moving slowly and not trying very hard to get away. Of course I took photos of the Snake-On-A-Rake. Finally, Jesus (my gardener) set it down on the ground and it started writhing and finally regurgitated a lizard! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It took about a minute and this lizard came out of its mouth – tail first – a full grown lizard and it was bigger than the snake! This lizard was either slow or just an Unlucky Lizard. Then the snake took off and with its lightened load, it could move faster. Jesus had to chase after it to kill it, otherwise, it would grow and be hiding in my tomatoes next week.

July 20, 2009

This is the first time in my life I have grown real food. I’ve been eating peaches, apples, and so many tomatoes. I have cherry tomatoes, big ones, and the little yellow grape tomatoes, and the varmints didn’t steal any. These are new additions to my meyer lemon, orange, grapefruit, lime, and plum trees. I’m waiting for my two newer trees (avocado and pomegranate) to produce something soon. I was always on the road or commuting between Chicago and L.A. to have a real garden. I’m also growing parsley and basil for my cooking. I had so many tomatoes, I made the roasted tomato soup from my cookbook and it was unbelievable. Too bad store bought tomatoes don’t taste like that. It’s so hot here in L.A.! It’s been around 100 degrees for days now. Hot and dry means fire season – and there’s one burning right now but not close to me. Today I went to the beauty supply, drug store, and Whole Foods.

July 26, 2009

It’s still "hotter than Hades" here in L.A. so Denis and I drove to Santa Monica today where it’s usually 20 degrees cooler. He had lunch at Babalu and they make these gigantic pies and cakes but we didn’t have room after our burgers. It’s a hole in the wall but good food. I saw their chocolate pecan pie and decided I had to put mine in my next cookbook. I’ve been working on new recipes and asked my sister, an excellent cook, to contribute one of her recipes and she will. There are some new photos on the site, some of my beautiful home which I remodeled and decorated on my own, and some new "Mystery Photos" too. I’m due for my 2nd colonoscopy next month. You’ll read all about that.

July 28, 2009

In my July 8th diary entry, I added a cute video of 10-year-old Hannah doing "Dance Heads" but some people were not able to view it so we fixed the problem. If you missed it, scroll down to July 8th and click it again.

July 29, 2009

There was another rattlesnake in my front yard today. Another one! It was just outside the front door and the gardener almost picked it up when he was clearing away leaves. Tomorrow I’m going to see if there’s a snake-buster or some way to eliminate them. I’ve been working on my cookbook recipes and am trying to decide what kind of cupcake to include – I’m thinking maybe lemon-coconut.

Aug. 2nd, 2009

It’s August already! It turns out there’s not much I can do about the rattlesnakes. I was told the fire department will come out and kill them but trapping them is a bit tricky, especially with so many lizards running around. But I also learned that a rattlesnake bite does not always lead to death. Is that supposed to make me feel better? It does. So I was at the grocery store today and this woman was shopping and on her cell phone, talking so loud I could hear her three aisles over. I kept trying to avoid her but the store was only so big. What is wrong with everybody? This was not a phone call about her grocery list, it was a personal (and lengthy) call about her dog, the weekend, work, family, blah, blah, blah…. First of all, we have the technology that no longer requires yelling into the phone to be heard across town, although this woman might have been heard across town without the phone. Lady, you don’t have to talk so loud on your cell phone, and you don’t need to subject your fellow citizens to the annoying and mind-numbing details of your personal life. It’s like second hand smoke. Take it outside! I hope the day comes when we see "No Cell Phones" signs in grocery stores, restaurants, and any place else I shop. I would make it a misdemeanor with a fine of $150. That’s right. The "Pain-in-the-Ass Police" (PITA) would give you a Pita ticket and the money would go to struggling families who have no phone at all. Whew, I feel better now.

Aug. 5th, 2009

Well, I’m feeling better today. I could vent again about the guy who went around me to make a left turn because I wasn’t moving fast enough for him… but I won’t. Instead I will focus on all things good. I’m still eating tomatoes and apples that I grew and it looks like my pomegranate tree will produce three pomegranates this fall. There were more but I think the deer got them. I got my car serviced. I needed an oil change but then they said I needed front brakes. I know now that they work on commission but I was afraid not to get the brakes so I agreed. And new brake fluid. And new wiper blades. And wheel alignment. Long story short – $678.00

Aug. 6th, 2009

I saw Jay Leno today driving along Mulholland. He was in a gorgeous white convertible with his white hair blowing in the breeze. It’s the fourth time I’ve seen him driving in the area, always in a different car. This one looked a vintage classic, maybe a Jaguar, definitely from his collection. You can’t miss him when he tools down the street. He’s like a rolling ambassador of show business, strutting his ride, a one-man parade. He was always kind to me when I was a struggling comedian and I’m happy for his enormous success.

Aug. 8th, 2009

Another celebrity sighting today! I saw Jane Lynch at the Grove. She’s one of my favorite actors, especially when she played the store manager in Forty Year Old Virgin. Last night, Denis’s nephew, Ryan, came over and I made salad, Mac ‘n’ Cheese, broccoli, and chocolate cake for dessert. After dinner we had our usual Sorry playoff and I beat him 3 games in a row. He just got all the bad cards. I’ve been working on my next cookbook and loving it. I don’t know why I love cooking so much, maybe it’s because the reward is immediate. You create it and then you eat it. Hey, I saw Hallowe’en decorations at a store today. I guess there’s nothing to sell for Labor Day so Hallowe’en is next. Yesterday was "housekeeper appreciation day" so we got pizza delivered for Antonia and she went home after lunch. I remember being a starving comedian, wondering if I’d ever make it and thinking that having a full time housekeeper had to be the ultimate luxury in the world. I tried to imagine what a life like that would be like and I couldn’t even imagine it. And now I have it. Antonia is here all day every day. It’s truly the ultimate luxury and I never forget how lucky I am.

Aug. 12th, 2009

I have great news. The last letter I posted in the Advice Column was to 15-year-old Luke who was in a relationship with a 28-year-old man. I was pretty hard on him and thought he might write to complain that I didn’t support him but I just heard back and he has ended the relationship. Luke, you showed a lot of maturity in making this decision and it was absolutely the right thing to do. I am so proud of you!

Aug. 16th, 2009

It was twenty-five years ago this month that I was arrested at the Newark airport for trying to board an airplane with a gun. They handcuffed me right there in the airport. I was sure they’d let me go once I explained that I needed it for protection being a single woman on the road doing standup comedy, but my excuse didn’t fly. And neither did I – I went to jail. My mug shot is in the Scrapbook section (Pictures with a Story). I can’t believe I used to fly every week for years working the comedy clubs and now I am terrified of flying. I made pickles today.

Aug. 18th, 2009

It’s spider season and I hate it. There was a big one on my bathroom floor on Saturday and then on Sunday, an even bigger one on my bathroom wall. Now if Denis won’t sit there with me, I won’t take a bath at night, only in the morning. The exterminators, yes plural, all tell me that spiders are nocturnal and when we’re asleep is when they come out. I don’t need to know that. Too much information! So I slept in the guest room last night because I don’t see spiders in there, only in my bathroom and in the bedroom. I suppose I don’t see them in the guest room because I never go in there. Oh well, I’m sleeping in there again tonight. In full pajamas with long sleeves. I think one bit me last year.

Aug. 23rd, 2009

I’m spending lots of time in the kitchen working on my recipes. This morning, I made chocolate french toast for breakfast and it’s definitely going in the new cookbook and yes it’s healthy…you’ll see. When I first went outside today, I almost walked right into a giant spiderweb. My face just missed it by inches. My apple tree is done – I just ate the last apple but I still have some tomatoes. Painters are coming tomorrow. Every year, some part of the house has to be painted and this time it’s the dormers. I hope they catch that scum bag hiding out in Canada. Girlfriend is found in a dumpster. He disappears. If his rich dad is helping him, I hope they both go to prison forever. Even if he’s not caught, he won’t be living the good life any more, wherever he is.

Aug. 29th, 2009

It’s fire season again with several fires burning in the intense heat. It’s over 100 degrees. This time I could see the fire from my upstairs balcony. Here it is around noon today. I don’t know how the firefighters do what they do in the extreme heat with all the stuff they have to wear. I was in an air conditioned car all day and still complaining about the heat. I’m going to bake some cookies tomorrow and take them our local fire station just to say, "Thanks for what you do." There’s too much bad news going around. People dying, bodies in suitcases, an eleven-year-old girl kidnapped for 18 years! I know how I would punish the abuser who took her. Just put him in a closed, soundproof room with the girl’s stepfather and walk away. I think I’ll avoid the evening news for a few days. On the bright side, I made cinnamon rolls this morning and the recipe is going in my book.

Aug. 30th, 2009

I walked outside this morning and came right back in to get a mask. There was a lot of smoke in the air and my first thought was that there was a new fire close by. I turned on the news and it was the same "Station" fire which is at least 30 miles away but the wind was blowing the smoke in this direction. On the news they asked people to stop calling 9-1-1 about the smoke and that it was not a new fire. By noon the wind had shifted and the air was breathable so I went grocery shopping. It was still over 100 degrees. It’s 8 pm and I just looked out the window and there are flames visible all over the mountains. Here’s the view from home. It’s an uneasy feeling knowing that with this dry heat and no rain for months, a fire can happen anywhere.

Sept. 3rd, 2009

I made lemon cupcakes today and left them to cool on the counter. When I came back there was a big fat fly sitting on top of a cupcake. It grossed me out! Should I swat the cupcake? What if he was on all the cupcakes while I was in the other room? I asked Denis for help and he came in and caught the fly with his bare hand. Wow! What a guy! Just in case, I sliced off all the cupcake tops, frosted them, topped them with coconut, and covered them up after that. It’s still hot and the fires are still burning. Over 150,000 acres burned and now they say it was arson. Maybe there’s some extra room in Bernie Madoff’s cell for this sicko. The smoke and ash has made for some colorful sunsets, though. Here’s a picture I took tonight.

Sept. 10th, 2009

Yesterday I went to Universal Citywalk to have lunch with one of Jenny’s Heroes. It was our newest hero from Bullhead City, Arizona. She drove all the way here with some friends just to say thank you so we all had lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp. It was a beautiful day, not too hot, but today it was 102 in the San Fernando Valley. I was driving today and with the 5-foot pipe that burst under one of the valley’s busiest intersections, traffic was crazy. I decided to stop paying for extra storage so I drove over to the facility, followed by some movers and they brought a truckload of stuff home. This weekend I’ll start opening boxes and who knows what I’ll find?

Sept. 14th, 2009

It was time for my annual gynecological exam last Friday and I got an excellent report. I think the doctors got wise to us with our feet in the stirrups but knees pushing together to delay the inevitable, so now we have knee holders. It still doesn’t make it any easier. I’m reminded of a stupid gyno-exam joke I heard decades ago…
Doctor: "You have a huge vagina. You have a huge vagina."
Patient: "You didn’t have to say it twice."
Doctor: "I didn’t."

Sept. 18th, 2009

Every once in a while, a good deed feels good. I was leaving a parking structure the other day with a "Cash Only" policy and the guy in front of me was appealing to the booth attendant that the ATM was not working and he had no cash. The attendant indicated that it was not his problem and the poor guy didn’t know what to do. So I got out and paid for his parking and mine ($7.50 apiece) and needless to say, the guy was very grateful. He told me he always does good things for other people and it was good karma that someone did something good for him.

Sept. 20th, 2009

My assistant, Damon, and his wife are expecting their first child and the due date was yesterday! Still no word from Damon. My back was bothering me last night and ice always seems to help but I did not have a cold ice pack. However, there was a bag of frozen soy beans in the freezer so I used that instead. It worked great.

Sept. 27th, 2009

It’s a girl! My assistant finally texted me today to say the baby was born last night and she’s perfect. Penelope weighed in at 7 lb. 9 oz.. Damon hasn’t slept much but it’s their first child so I can only imagine the excitement. Congratulations, Damon!! Other than that, we had friends visiting for the weekend so we went to the Griffith Observatory and saw a fantastic show at the Planetarium about our universe. We also drove to the beach for lunch yesterday and saw dolphins swimming and seagulls eating leftovers off the tables.

Sept. 30th, 2009

I went to the dermatologist because my face started getting red and swollen. So now I have photo allergy which seems to be a combination of something I’m putting on my skin and the sun, even though I always wear sunblock. He gave me a prescription cream and said no sun exposure for a month. We were supposed to go on a cruise to Mexico this weekend but that’s been cancelled. What about my morning walks outside? OMG, I may become a mall-walker!

Oct. 4, 2009

Denis and I went to see Crosby, Stills & Nash at the Greek theater last night. I couldn’t believe it but people were getting high right in the audience and nobody seemed bothered by that. It’s an outside venue so the smell went away quickly. And speaking of that, it was a bit cold but no one seemed to mind. It was great to see them in person, even though they are all senior citizens, just like most of the audience. We are heading to Chicago to finalize the sale of our house there – driving. I’m too anxious to fly and don’t mind swapping a 4-hour flight for a 4-day drive. We got UV protection on the car windows and I’ll be using 60 SFP sunblock AND a hat. I’m making sandwiches and taking lots of fruit & healthy snacks for the ride. It’ll be an adventure.

Oct. 6, 2009

Denis and I are on our road trip adventure. Sunday we made it to Flagstaff, Monday to Albuquerque, and today we are aiming for Oklahoma City or further. We took a few fun excursions and I got to see Santa Fe for the first time – really worth the side-trip. More to come on our adventure.

Oct. 8, 2009

We arrived in Chicago last night after stopping in Tulsa Tuesday night. Yesterday was a long day but fun – we had breakfast in Springfield (the capital of Illinois) at Aunt Martha’s Pancake House with Lorna as our waitress. They serve the biggest pancakes I’ve ever seen! We drove through St. Louis and saw the big arch as we crossed the Mississippi. It’s raining today in Chicago but it’s good to be back.

Oct. 13, 2009

I’m freezing in Chicago! It’s a beautiful place to be when the leaves change color, but I slept in pajamas over my pajamas and socks last night. We’re almost done wrapping up the sale of this property and will be heading back to toasty California on Thursday. We’ll be driving back and it’s hard to believe I used to be on the road for a living, as a musician and a comedian. My lifestyle has since changed but I’m not finding any Four Seasons Hotels on route 66. But roughing it is a good thing!

Oct. 15, 2009

We’re on the way home! Yippee! We just left Springfield, IL, and expect to spend the night in Springfield, MO.

Oct. 16, 2009

We had breakfast at Bob Evans in Joplin, Missouri and are heading for Albuquerque tonight. Almost home!

Oct. 18, 2009

We’re back! It’s soooo good to be home. Denis didn’t want to stop overnight last night so we drove from Tucumcari, New Mexico, where we spent the night, all the way to L.A., arriving after midnight. I actually remember a song from 1959 called "Tucumcari" by Jimmie Rodgers. So here’s the 4-1-1 on our road trip. I loved being out in the real world and it quickly reaffirmed that L.A. is not. We went to a bunch of local spots for real food, and saw real people, the ones who probably watched my show… places like Waffle House, Sonic Drive-In, Steak’nShake, and Earl’s Restaurant in Gallup to try Indian Fry Bread. None of it was health food but I tried it all. My favorite was Waffle House which is what you imagine a real American diner would be, with a big griddle and things being cooked in a way I’d rather not see. But it WAS good. I was surprised by all the nice hotels along the way, many of which have small suites with refrigerators and kitchens and they’re not expensive. They almost all have free continental breakfast, wireless internet, and some have workout rooms. The first time we stopped for gas, I went to ask for the key to the rest room since all I’ve ever seen were locked toilets you enter from outside, around the side of the gas station, using a key attached to a giant stick. But it’s not 1969 any more. The rest rooms are all inside now and they’re not locked. And the speed limit in every state is 75! Oh, and we saw the huge meteor crater near Flagstaff that was formed by a giant meteor 50,00 years ago. It’s 4,000 feet across and almost 600 feet deep. There’s so much to see in this country. I highly recommend road trips to expand our knowledge of where we live.

Oct. 19, 2009

I spent all day catching up on emails from the last 2 weeks. I missed my own cooking while we were gone, so I had oatmeal for breakfast, an egg salad sandwich for lunch, and red beans and rice for supper with butterscotch pudding for dessert.

Oct. 20, 2009

I’m sad to report the passing of my long-time director at the Jenny Jones Show. Tom Maguire passed away last month in Palm Springs, California. Tom did a masterful job of directing the show, which taped in Chicago, and was well loved and respected by all the staff. He was easy going, and only made it look easy to command a fast paced show with multiple cameras and a large number of guests. He had movie star looks and a warm personality to boot. Tom was my director for almost the entire 12-year run of the show and I extend my condolences to his wife Jan and to his children.

Oct. 26, 2009

It’s like summer here in L.A. but weird because it’s 80 degrees but the leaves are falling. I planted some lettuce yesterday and it’s still there this morning so maybe the rabbit has moved on. The deer ate my plumbago so I tied some reflective ribbon on it to scare them away, but it’s a little late – the beautiful blue flowers are all gone. My colonoscopy is less than two weeks away.

Nov. 2, 2009

Well, it was finally time to harvest the fruit off my pomegranate tree. Here’s a picture taken before my harvest. What’s the deal? One lonely pomegranate? Oh well, maybe it’ll take another year to get started, but it was a delicious treat!

Nov. 3, 2009

Tomorrow is my colonoscopy day and that means today is… let’s just say it’s challenging. No food. Only clear liquids. And no red ones. I took two laxatives at noon and at 6 pm I start drinking a throat-gagging, movement-inducing liquid concoction. I have to gag down an 8-ounce glass every 10 minutes until my mission is accomplished and I get the all-clear. It’s 5 pm now so I have one hour to mentally prepare for the viscous, but "orange-flavored" treat. I just sampled it and if I don’t throw up, then I guess it will come out the other end.

Nov. 4, 2009

My colon gets an A+. But everything surrounding a colonoscopy is worse than the actual test, which I slept through with a twilight-sleep. The prep is no fun, and I don’t like needles which they did for my anesthesia. The worst part was after I was wheeled into the surgery room and there was my doctor, the nurse who got me ready, the anesthesiologist, and then here comes this cute young guy, "Hi. I’ll be assisting today." I was in no position to demand a replacement, like maybe an older, matronly woman? But once I was asleep, they all had their way with me and I didn’t care. The important thing is I passed with flying colors and my next one is not due for 5 years.

Nov. 9, 2009

Denis and I went to Santa Monica on Saturday to a store where I buy the only jeans that fit the way I like. Then we had lunch in Beverly Hills at a panini place. I was facing the window and kept seeing the same red Lamborghini drive past. I guess there’s cruising in Beverly Hills too. Then yesterday Denis’ nephew came for dinner. I made short ribs that I cook for 3 hours and after dinner we had our traditional Sorry competition. I beat his pants off… again.

Nov. 11, 2009

It’s Veterans Day and I would like to acknowledge my father who was a veteran of World War II. His war stories used to bore me when I was a kid, but I’d give anything to hear them again, now that I understand how much he gave up. His name was John (Jan in Polish) and here is his photo as a 21-year-old Polish Army recruit in 1936. The braid he wears was awarded for expert marksmanship.


click the image to enlarge

Nov. 18, 2009

Lesson learned: Pre-washed lettuce needs to be washed. I don’t care what they say, wash it – twice. I was cutting up some "pre-washed" romaine hearts for my salad and all of a sudden, I see a big bug on the cutting board! Did I mention he was crawling across the cutting board?? Ugh! I thought I would never eat a salad again. I know bugs are out there, but com’on! The lettuce was in the fridge for two days! Just sharing so we can all learn from the traumatic events in my life.

Nov. 19, 2009

I put up my Christmas tree last night.

Nov. 24, 2009

Denis and I are driving to Las Vegas today to spend Thanksgiving with my step mom. We’ll be going out to eat so I will probably miss my own turkey. Oh wait… he’ll be sitting next to me. 🙂 I’m LOL-ing all by myself. Seriously, I have much to be thankful for. (it’s my website and I will end with a preposition if I want to!) Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov. 29, 2009

We are back from Vegas and what an adventure it was. We stayed at the the Four Seasons so I was expecting the best of everything. It was all very good except they starch the sheets! I contemplated bringing my own soft pima cotton 500 thread count sheets but it’s the Four Seasons so I didn’t. Why would anyone starch sheets? To keep them smooth, I guess. The top sheet was so stiff it crinkled every time I moved and the noise woke me up. So the next morning I went to Bed, Bath and bought a new set. I washed them at my step mom’s right away and had them on the bed that night. Much better. We all had a nice Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant and then went to see Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian. The theater and production were fantastic. We also saw the Rat Pack show at the Union Plaza. I lost $21.00 gambling and that was enough living on the edge for me.

Dec. 2, 2009

I’ve got too much stuff so I’m selling some things on Craig’s List. Plus I’ve made about ten drops at the Goodwill. We don’t know everything about Tiger Woods yet but I do know one thing – his life will never be the same. He’ll have this baggage for the rest of his life. And we have one less role model in the world. Too bad.

Dec. 4, 2009

It’s Friday so I decided to beat the rush and go to the mall for about an hour. Well it took me almost that long to find a place to park. It was 11 am! The mall was full of people carrying stuffed shopping bags and we still have 3 weeks until Christmas. That does it. Any other shopping I need to do will be online. I may not even leave the house until 2010. I wonder what Tiger is getting his wife for Christmas…

Dec. 9, 2009

I’ve had it with Keyes Lexus! I took my car in there once for service and now they are downright harassing me to come back. It’s like telemarketing with different people calling every day to say I missed my 7:30 am appointment (which I never made!) and asking if they can reschedule me. I demanded that they stop calling me but they didn’t. So I called the Service Manager two days ago who didn’t really care but he said he’d tell them to stop calling. They called again today (apparently I missed my 7:30 am appointment!). So today I called the General Manager who also didn’t care and said no one has ever complained before. I told him not only would I never come back or buy my next car from them, I also told him if I get any more phone calls I would come down there and make a scene. Can you imagine the tabloids? "Talk show host loses it at Lexus!" It could happen…

Dec. 10, 2009

This year I’m sending real Christmas cards in the mail so I spent the day getting them ready. I wish I knew what I was allergic to but my nose runs most every day and I remember that my dad blew his nose a lot, so I am determined to fix the problem without drugs. I’m going out tonight to get the equipment needed to do nasal irrigation. You just run salt water through your nose to flush it out. How bad can it be?

Dec. 13, 2009

It poured rain all day yesterday and the leak we had fixed in the living room is back. Speaking of pouring, I bought a Neti pot at Whole Foods and it really works. It looks like a teapot and it’s an easy way to run salt water into one nostril and out the other to flush out pollen, bacteria, mucus, and whatever else shouldn’t be in there. I got rid of my runny nose without drugs! Granted it makes you squirm to see it done, but the result feels like you just ate a hot pepper and cleared your sinuses. The first time I did it, the initial feeling is like you swam and got water in your nose but once it starts coming out the other nostril, it feels fine, and the result is instant. I’m storing the pot separately so no one uses it to make tea.

Dec. 17, 2009

I’ve decided to bake cupcakes for Christmas presents so I experimented today with a chocolate recipe. They were so good I ate two and a third one is currently at risk. They’re like little personal cakes and I love cake. I went to the mall tonight and was shocked to find parking. I picked up something for my housekeeper, Antonia, but I can’t say what it is because she reads my diary. Came home, had white tea, and am trying not to eat the 3rd cupcake.

Dec. 21, 2009

Look what I grew in my back yard.

Dec. 22, 2009

It’s Christmas baking time! I’m starting tonight and I’ll be making sugar cookies, pfeffernusse, lemon bars, macaroons, and this year I’m also trying to make chocolate truffles. Last weekend I made a slipcover for an ottoman. I didn’t want to but nobody could get it done before Christmas so I bought some fabric and piping and did it myself. Tomorrow I’ll pick up my turkey for Christmas dinner (everything from scratch, including pumpkin pie). I can’t wait for that!

Dec. 25, 2009

Best wishes to all my website visitors and friends. Here’s a vintage Christmas card we sent at the Jenny Jones Show back in the 90s. Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year.


click the image to enlarge

Boxing Day, 2009

Being from Canada, the day after Christmas is always Boxing Day to me. It’s an official holiday there as well as in England, Australia, and New Zealand. It’s the day to shop for bargains but originally it was a day for servants to receive a box of goodies from their employers. It was also a day to give to the needy – a much better idea than giving to the malls. We had people over for cookies today and then I made turkey leftovers for dinner. After my pumpkin pie, I had one of my homemade truffles and wow – it was good! But only one. Now that the Christmas work is over, I sipped white tea and watched TV all night.

Dec. 29, 2009

I’m getting ready for a New Years Day open house which I’ve done every year since the 90s. It will be catered food but I will do all the desserts. Baking again – I love it! I told Denis I want to go to Pasadena to see the floats the day after the parade. I would love to see them up close and of course, I’ll be taking my camera. I came across a VHS copy of my guest appearance on Doogie Howser, MD with a very young Neil Patrick Harris so I’ll be posting that soon on the site.

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